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Publication

Adaptation and Climate Action

Published: 31 December 2019
From: Department of the Taoiseach

1. Introduction

Climate change adaptation means the way in which we plan for the negative effects of climate change and taking suitable action to prevent or minimise damage caused by climate change.

Effective climate adaptation can minimise risks, costs and also protect lives and property by building resilience into existing systems. This can ultimately help minimise the level of emergency response required in the face of severe weather events. Actions should be risk based and determined by existing vulnerabilities in individual communities with a view to protecting vulnerable areas from future damage due to projected climate change.

These measures can cover anything from direct risk like flood risk management and prevention to indirect effects of climate change like protecting workers through a Just Transition.

Climate adaptation is a critical aspect of community engagement in climate action. Adaptation measures may often be region- and community-specific, and require close collaboration and coordination at local level.

Our National Adaptation Framework published in 2018 provides a national strategy to reduce the vulnerability of the country to the negative effects of climate change and to avail of positive impacts. It was developed under the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act 2015 .

2. Ambitions and targets

Building on the National Adaptation Framework , the Climate Action Plan sets out climate adaptation measures to ensure that the State is ready to protect people from the negative effects of climate change in Ireland and steps to limit any damage caused.

3. Actions completed to date

Sectoral Adaptation Plans

On 31 October 2019, Government published 12 sectoral adaptation plans in relation to the following sectors:

1. Agriculture

2. Forestry

3. Seafood

4. Biodiversity

5. Built and archaeological heritage

6. Transport infrastructure

7. Electricity and gas networks

8. Communications networks

9. Flood risk management

10. Water quality

11. Water services infrastructure

12. Health

Each of the Plans identify the key risks faced across the sector and the approach being taken to address these risks and build climate resilience for the future. They were developed applying a six step adaptation planning process described in Sectoral Planning Guidelines for Climate Change Adaptation , published by the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment.

The plans include actions that:

  • Mainstream adaptation into key sectoral plans and policies.
  • Identify and understand the key vulnerabilities, risks, and opportunities facing specific sectors, as well as major risks cross cutting different sectors.
  • Ensure climate-proofing of strategic emergency planning.
  • Identify and collect information on the costs and benefits of adaptation within specific sectors.
  • Build capacity within sectors to cope with climate change.
  • Identify and address key research gaps within their sectors.
  • Improve co-ordination with the Local Government sector.
  • Develop appropriate monitoring and verification systems within sectors.

For more information on EU Adaptation Strategy please see here .

Further and more detailed information on climate change adaptation and on a range of adaptation options for Ireland is available on Climate Ireland .


Please click here to return to the main climate action page.